The Delaware County Republican Party's central committee on Feb. 25 endorsed Dennis Stapleton for county commissioner in the May 4 primary.

The Delaware County Republican Party's central committee on Feb. 25 endorsed Dennis Stapleton for county commissioner in the May 4 primary.

The committee previously had endorsed incumbent Todd Hanks before he announced he was dropping out of the race.

The committee also endorsed current county prosecutor David Yost for the state auditor's race.

The committee previously had endorsed Yost for Ohio attorney general. Yost left that race after current Ohio auditor Mary Taylor announced she would become former U.S. Rep. John Kasich's running mate in his bid for governor.

Two other candidates -- Andrew Brush of Delaware and Scott Galloway of Lewis Center -- sought the commissioner endorsement. Brush serves on Delaware City Council and Galloway is an Olentangy school board member.

Delaware City Council member Carolyn Riggle had applied for endorsement consideration, but withdrew after the Delaware County Board of Elections declined to certify her candidacy petitions.

Jeff Burkam, a member of the board of elections and the central committee, said one of Riggle's petitions was not properly dated and she incorrectly stated she was seeking an unexpired term. Hanks plans to serve his full term; his successor will be elected to a full term.

Following the central committee meeting, Riggle told ThisWeek it would be inappropriate to seek the endorsement until her candidacy is resolved. She said she had filed a protest with the board of elections and a hearing is scheduled for March 2.

Jim Ward also is a commissioner candidate in the May primary. Ward was a county commissioner who lost a re-election bid in the 2008 primary. Also in 2008, a judge found Ward guilty of violating state ethics laws by misusing a county-issued cell phone.

Ward told the group he had planned to apply to the committee's screening committee but he had problems using an e-mail address given to him by central committee chair Teri Morgan. He said this led him to miss the Feb. 18 deadline to seek an endorsement.

Morgan then told the group Ward simply missed the deadline. She said he knew the correct e-mail address and knew when the deadline was.

Stapleton, who lives in Genoa Township, touted his experience as a former state legislator. He previously served in the Ohio House representing the 88th district, which includes Brown County and parts of Adams and Clermont counties.

It took three ballots to endorse Stapleton. In the first ballot, Stapleton received 34 votes, Galloway 25 and Brush 15, with five declining to vote. That eliminated Brush, but Stapleton needed a wider margin to win.

The next two ballots were between Stapleton and Galloway. The second ballot was discarded because the number of votes didn't match the number of committee members responding to a roll call.

Another roll call was taken, and Stapleton received 40 votes on the third ballot, the minimum needed for an endorsement.

Seth Morgan, who will oppose Yost for auditor in the primary, applied for an endorsement and attended the session.

Morgan, of Huber Heights, represents the 36th District in the Ohio House and is a certified public accountant.

He lost the endorsement vote 21-57, with two declining to vote.

In January, the central committee failed to endorse a candidate for the nomination for the Ohio House 2nd District seat. No candidate received a sufficient majority in multiple ballots. Running for the seat are Delaware County recorder Andrew Brenner, Delaware Municipal Court chief deputy clerk Traci Saliba, former legislative aide Beth Lear, lawyer Mark Phillips and business owner Craig Schweitzer.

On Feb. 25, the central committee also heard Mike Gemperline, who identified himself as being with the tea party movement. He urged the committee not to endorse any candidates and said it is better to support the candidates who win primary elections.

The committee heard a similar request last month when committee member Janelle Grubbs called for no endorsement in the 2nd District race.